Tough first show for Portuguese United FC

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The newly formed side played their first game as a team, losing 9-0 to the Cross Keys who will play two tiers above them in the upcoming JFA Combination season, which will begin in September.

The new club, who have also entered a side into the CI Women’s League, will join the men’s league pyramid in Division I.

Despite the one-sided score line, Portuguese United manager Davide Pita said he was proud of his players on their first outing, after months of inactivity.

‘The attitude the boys showed was brilliant,’ he said. ‘The way we played and some of the chances we had doesn’t reflect the score line.’

Despite being a new team entering the league, Pita was keen to emphasise that the goal from the beginning has been promotion and believes his side are capable of doing so.

‘Everything has been really well-managed by St Peter and it’s good to see everyone sticking to the Covid-19 guidelines.’ He said.

St Peter manager Elliott Powell was appointed during lockdown and said his side are targeting a top four finish this year, with the help of some new recruits.

‘It’s refreshing to have football back, the boys have been training for two months now in an adapted format but that doesn’t compare to being out on the pitch, we are all so happy to be back.’

Powell said his side were poor in the first half but made up for it in the second as they played with more confidence and started to link up well together.

‘These lads struggled last season and it was a poor year for the club, hence why there have been some changes,’ he said. ‘So to get a win under our belts today was important and I thought some of the football we played was brilliant.’

St Peter were playing with a new-look spine to their team, including goalkeeper Brad Rolland and Liam Spencer, who captained the side after joining from St Clement. They also welcomed back Jersey Bulls regular Sol Solomon to their left wing.

Numerous individual mistakes from Portuguese United set the tone for the game, allowing St Peter to race into an early lead with their high-press forcing errors.

Two goals from Solomon and a Tom Dawson header gave the reds a 3-0 lead at half time.

The increased-confidence after the break showed as the Saints put a further six past the helpless Portuguese defence, including a solo effort from Solomon, beating three players before finding the top corner to complete his hat-trick. He later added a fourth, with Ryan Marcinko (two) and Spencer also on target.

Both teams will play again in mid-week.

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